'Inside The Box' is a series in which we will take a deeper-dive into the Box Office collections and web numbers of major films released across India.
The Kashmir Files juggernaut continued to roll in its second weekend as the film earned a solid Rs. 71 crores nett at the Box Office (as per Ormax Media) – the highest second weekend grosser ever after Baahubali 2: The Conclusion (2017) and Dangal (2016). Remaining the first-choice film for cine-goers even 7 days after release, the film, in fact, went on to collect one of its highest day-wise earnings on its second Friday – Rs. 19.50 crores nett (as per Box Office India) – almost at par with Baahubali 2′s second Friday (Rs. 20 crores nett).
The biggest impact of the film, however, has perhaps been felt by the team of Bachchhan Paandey, the latest release at the Box Office. Starring Akshay Kumar, Kriti Sanon and Arshad Warsi, the Hindi remake of the genre-defying Tamil-language film Jigarthanda, struggled in its first weekend, collecting an underwhelming Rs. 34.5 crores nett while witnessing drops on Saturday and Sunday. Considering Akshay Kumar's previous opening numbers, including his post-Covid superhit Sooryavanshi (Rs. 77 crores nett), and his star status, the film hasn't been able to pick up the way it was expected to. "Had Bachchhan Pandey been a solo release on the weekend, it could have collected Rs. 50 crores nett. Kesari had released around the same period in 2019, and had a weekend of Rs. 54 crores," says Gautam Jain, Partner at Ormax Media.
Another reason behind this is also the limited screens it ended up receiving as most single screens and multiplexes chose to retain or increase the screens of The Kashmir Files owing to its large demand. The Vivek Agnihotri film, which saw a release across 600 screens on Day 1, has now moved up to a staggering 4000 screens. "The last time I saw something like this happening was back in 1975 when Jai Santoshi Maa released. A demographic that had not turned up at the cinemas for a decade or more just started coming in big waves. The same thing can now be observed with The Kashmir Files," explains film exhibitor and distributor Akshaye Rathi.
The film is doing extremely well in the northern belt, the stand-outs being the New Delhi, Uttar Pradesh and East Punjab markets. However, the effects of the 'wave' can be felt in the southern regions too. Despite multiple relatively big releases in the Tamil and Telugu industry over the last couple of weeks, The Kashmir Files is generating quite a buzz. "In Chennai, it is the second-most viewed film at the box office currently, after Suriya's Etharkkum Thunindhavan. Nobody expected that, because in Chennai, only big-hero Hindi films from the Khans or Akshay Kumar usually clicks," says entertainment tracker Sreedhar Pillai. "When you look at it that way, The Kashmir Files has eaten into the business of Bachchhan Paandey." Add to that the lack of word of mouth and the largely negative reviews, and Bachchhan Paandey's future now seems to be reliant on their digital and television rights to stay afloat.
The Kashmir Files, which saw a release across 600 screens on Day one, has now moved up to a staggering 4000 screens
Having crossed the Rs. 150 crores mark already, The Kashmir Files, made under a budget of Rs. 25 crores, will not only target the Rs. 200 crore mark going into its third week, but will also near the all-time list of highest grossing films. As far as profitability is concerned, it is well on its way to surpass Uri: The Surgical Strike too. "Looking at the growth trajectory of the film and the momentum it currently has going for itself, it could very well be one of the highest grossing films in the history of Indian cinema," says Rathi.
Having said that, with SS Rajamouli's RRR nearing a massive release this weekend, is there a chance for the film to get hit by The Kashmir Files wave too? Likely. "It will eat into the business of RRR too the coming week, only in the northern regions, but it surely will," says Pillai. However, owing to Rajamouli's fanbase and an expected natural slowdown of any film post Week 3, the effects may only be seen in a limited capacity, unlike the weekend gone by. "Looking at the hold of The Kashmir Files on its second Monday, it is certain to impact the performance of RRR, especially in terms of showcasing at multiplexes. However, it won't be as drastic as Bachchhan Paandey since it will be the third weekend for the film," says Jain.